Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Exiled to London by her disreputable uncle, Katherine Ralston discovers her family estate has been sold to Nicholas Varon, the "Black Duke" of Sommesby, a professedly reformed rake who is taken with her charms.
I enjoyed this early Suzanne Enoch regency romance which I picked up because it was offered on kindle for next to nothing. Suzanne Enoch has become a favorite, so I was curious to read one of her earliest books. Although it seemed a bit tame (aka, no sex) and lightweight compared to her more recent ones, it was a cute romance.
Kate Ralston is taken under the wing of her godparents in London after her ruthless uncle, now her guardian, forces her to leave her family estate, which she owns by right. She's has lived there all her life and is not about to let anyone take it away from her. He's trying to cheat her out of it so he can sell it to keep the money for himself. While in London, her godparents launch her onto Society and her kindly godfather goes behind her back to arrange a "buyer" for the property so it won't be lost for good and he can then arrange to get it back for Kate. While experiencing the London Season she meets Nicholas, the Duke of Sommesby who finds her refreshing as much as beautiful. He's the usual tall dark and handsome rakish type who has sworn off marriage, but he changes his rakish ways and opinion of marriage once he meets Kate. He also happens to be the buyer her godfather has arranged to buy her family estate, which causes all sorts of problems down the road.
As Kate and Nicholas fall in love, together they wind up foiling her uncle's plans. She's not happy when she finds out that Nicholas is the one buying her home and a big misunderstanding takes place between them that nearly ruins her reputation amidst the ton. If only her godfather had told her what he was up to! This romance has the usual characters: the smitten alpha hero who manages to surprise the ton with his open admiration of Ms. Ralston, the ingenue heroine with an endearingly strong backbone, the kindly older godparents who love her as much as a real parent and lastly the villainous uncle who kidnaps her for greed and and gets his just desserts for it. It all adds up to a happily ever after ending in which the hero comes to her rescue, vowing eternal love forever and a day. Set amidst the splendor of Regency London this was a cute story - but personally, I prefer her current "spicier" efforts. ;)